October 2016
This is a progress report for the White-chinned petrel population research 2015/16.


The White-chinned Petrel, Procellaria aequinoctialis, is one of the most frequently observed seabird species captured in fisheries bycatch, yet some populations remain virtually unstudied.

In the New Zealand region, the priority programmes to fill key information gaps included surveying, tracking and collecting demographic data from White-chinned Petrels in the Auckland Islands. Survey of the Campbell Island population and clarification of taxonomic uncertainty in the New Zealand region were secondary aims.

This information paper provides a progress update and reports some preliminary findings. An estimated 186,000 (95% CI: 131,000–248,000) White-chinned Petrel pairs breed in the Auckland Islands, and the Campbell Island group supports around 22,000 (15,000–29,000) breeding pairs. A tracking programme in the Auckland Islands has retrieved 38 geolocators from White-chinned Petrels to date.

Our work on phylogenetic affinities of White-chinned Petrels supported the idea of an NZ regional population, with all three breeding islands grouping together. A study was initiated to collect demographic data from White-chinned Petrels at Adams Island, Auckland Islands. Two years of data have since been collected.

Publication information

Rexer-Huber, K. Parker, G. & Thompson D. 2016. New Zealand White-chinned Petrel population research update. Third meeting of the Population and Conservation Status Working Group, La Serena, Chile. 8p 


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


Back to top